What should you do if you slip and fall in a store, like a retailer or a grocer? There are a few steps you will want to follow to take care of yourself and prepare a premises liability claim later. From gathering initial evidence to saying the right thing when filling out forms, there are many little pieces to the process that matter.
Here’s a closer look at what to do if you slip and fall in a store:
- Inform a manager: If you fall and suffer an injury, even if you just feel soreness or aches at first, then you should call for help from someone working at the store. Ask to see the manager, so you can ensure that the store is aware that you have had an accident on its property. You don’t need to go into great detail when talking with a manager or supervisor, and you probably shouldn’t. The more you say, the more likely you might poorly word something and make it seem like you caused your own accident. Simply say that you slipped on a hazard, like spilled liquids or loose products, fell, and got hurt.
- Take pictures: While many stores have security cameras, few have them covering every inch of the premises. If you want to make certain that the scene of your accident is well documented, then you will have to take the pictures yourself. Use your phone to take photographs of the surrounding area. Try to do so before the store can set up warning cones or clean it up. A manager might be in a hurry to effectively “erase” evidence of their negligence by promptly fixing the problem. Start taking pictures right away if you can and inform them that they should be doing the same thing before cleaning the area.
- Get an accident report: The manager might have you fill out an accident form for the company to save in its accident records. Again, be sure to be careful about what you put on this form. You should, of course, provide your contact information, but details of your slip and fall accident in the store do not need to be extensive here. When the form is filled out, ask them to make a copy of it for you. Most stores have a copier in the management offices. If not, then you can take a picture of the form with your phone as well.
- See a doctor: Arrange to see a trusted medical provider the same day of your slip and fall accident, assuming you are not taken to urgent care. You need to establish when your injuries occurred and why, so waiting too long to see a doctor can completely derail your case. When you are speaking with the physician, be sure to mention that you fell in the store and ask them to write that down in their notes. Please be aware that you should see a doctor even if you feel relatively fine. Some injuries can start with subtle pain before worsening in a day or two, so don’t assume that you’re okay. Let a doctor reach that conclusion with a careful diagnosis.
- Work with a lawyer: Once you have seen a medical professional, it is time to speak with a legal professional. Call a local slip and fall accident attorney or premises liability lawyer soon after you receive a doctor’s diagnosis and/or prognosis. It is likely that the store is already taking steps to defend itself from your pending injury claim, so you won’t want to give them the advantage of a big head start. Working with a lawyer sooner than later also allows you to report the details of your accident with more clarity because the situation will be fresher in your mind.
In summary, after a slip and fall accident in a store, you should inform a manager, take pictures, fill out an accident report, see a doctor, and speak with an attorney, all as soon as possible.
Legal Counsel That’s Ready to Help Any Time
Gill Law Group, PC offers comprehensive legal assistance to slip and fall accident clients in and around Orange County. Thanks to our extensive legal experience, we can bring a claim or lawsuit against any store, company, or defendant, regardless of their size or reputation. Find out what we can do for your slip and fall case today by arranging a no-cost consultation!